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Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 48 Ratings

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  • Summary: R.E.M. returns with their 15th album, mixing up their winning musical recipe of the past with a new approach, featuring guest appearances by Patti Smith, Eddie Vedder, and Peaches.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Mar 9, 2011
    Despite some small stutter steps, Collapse Into Now is easily the best R.E.M. album since the trio lost its way.
  2. Mar 4, 2011
    Collapse mostly sounds like a familiar friend -- reliable in all the best ways, but still capable of quietly insinuating surprises.
  3. Mar 10, 2011
    The album clearly bounces back and forth between those moments of emotional annihilation and utter hope and optimism. But more than that, with those tracks book-ending the effort, the record's most basic motif is clear: even as lords of rock, the men of R.E.M. still struggle daily with their own issues and the standards of the world, but welcome the battle with ever-glowing smiles.
  4. Mar 15, 2011
    What makes this record better than Accelerate is the feeling that R.E.M. have figured out how to be R.E.M. again--how to affect the signature balance of folky and punky that's inspired bands far less worshipful than Pearl Jam or the Decemberists.
  5. Mar 7, 2011
    Collapse shuffles through all of R.E.M.'s past lives; it's a greatest hits without a hit, a career retrospective with all new material.
  6. Mar 29, 2011
    Collapse Into Now can only sound like an afterthought, but it nevertheless one which bristles and fizzes with invigorating qualities of wit and fury. [Apr 2011, p.76]
  7. May 2, 2011
    Unfortunately, Collapse Into Now is not nearly as consistent, vital or accomplished as either Out Of Time or Automatic For The People. [Apr 2011, p.94]

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Mar 8, 2011
    There was a time I waited for an REM album with defiant hope. I mean, REM embodied the sophisticate yet accessible, the experimental yet refrained, the beautiful but never the corny, and they were "southern boys just like you and me" (in Pavement's words). They were the leaders that made a path for and championed great younger bands. That was a long time ago. I stopped waiting for their second comming a few years back. Today I am glad they were never gone. I have read several accusations of fabrication of an artificial REM sound by REM on this album, which just seems ridiculous to me. I get why these are put forward, this is an intensely reminiscent album if you happen to know a couple of things about this bands important past. There is something stuck in the ears of critics disliking these songs for being too much like their early forerunners of Document, Green, Out of Time and Automatic. That something is that REM â Expand
  2. Mar 11, 2011
    Although there are no individual songs that register as particularly exceptional the collection as a whole is quite outstanding and should be enjoyed by fans and non-fans alike. Expand
  3. Mar 16, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. 10.0
    R.E.M. has always been creative. Murmur was on it's time, a revolutionary album. The IRS years were great, and for some people a dislike, and for others an evolution (I am one of that kind), since Document, they have reinvented themselves in every new realise: The sticky sound from Green; the acoustic Out of Time; the masterpiece Automatic for the People; the distortion from Monster; the variety from New Adventures in Hi-Fi; the electronic Up; the kind of psychedelic Reveal; the soft and mostly underrated Around the Sun; the most rocker and a truth reinvention Accelerate.
    Now, apparently they have decide to take the essence from every album they've ever made in every song this album is R.E.M.'s history that Collapse Into Now. This could be the best album R.E.M. will realize along with Automatic For The People.
    "Discoverer" and "All The Best" are fast songs that reminds of their fast albums. "Ã
  4. Mar 8, 2011
    For awhile there it seemed like one of truly great bands R.E.M. were lost. The lack of drummer Bill Berry seemed to have changed of the tenure of the music to something more contemplative. Up had "Lotus" a truly great rock song. But Reveal disappointed with "Imitation Of Life" a b-side track off of Out Of Time really as it's only worthy song. Then Around The Sun which, in my mind is the worst R.E.M. album ever.

    Then came Accelerate a great solid album. Simple, easy, straight-forward rock songs. Maybe a little bit one dimensional but back was the R.E.M. we all loved. Collapse Into Now builds off of Accelerate and expands the pallet of musical flavors.

    Collapse Into Now still has the energy of Accelerate (the thing we so missed from R.E.M.) But, it also has some more interesting sonic explorations. Take the final track Blue for instance. With the great Patti Smith singing vocals with Michael Stipe speaking, followed with a coda that alludes back to the opening track Discoverer. Excellent. Best album since at least New Adventures In HiFi.
  5. May 19, 2011
    This is R.E.M.'s best since New Adventures in Hi-Fi in 1996. My favorite song on here is "Uberlin," which is Michael Stipe's finest vocal performance in many years. Collapse Into Now successfully mixes mid-tempo tracks like "Uberlin," "Oh My Heart," and "It Happened Today" (the last of which has the greatest harmony vocals on any R.E.M. album) with good slow songs like "Walk It Back" and "Me Marlon Brando, Marlon Brando and I" and faster, more rocking songs such as "All the Best" and "That Someone is You." Highly recommended! Expand
  6. Mar 9, 2011
    By far my favorite of the post Bill Berry era. Solid songs through out. Micheal's voice sounds better then the last several albums. I will agree with others on the sound of the album. Sounds like a purposeful fuzziness to all the songs. I purchased the download, so I would love to compare to the pressed cd. Works on some songs, kind of works on others. Not distracting enough to bring down the excitement of a new R.E.M. album. Expand
  7. Aug 6, 2011
    If you like REM because of the songs "Man of the moon", "Electrolite", "Imitation of life", "Everybody hurts"... then don't go for this album. Fast electric guitar songs which aren't high-quality. Only the last two tracks and tracks 3,4,5 are worth listening. Expand

See all 17 User Reviews